Month: November 2017

Pumpkin Filled Croissants

The combination of pumpkin and peanut butter is not an obvious one, such as pumpkin and pecans — or peanut butter and jelly. However, if you dare to think outside old lines and combine these two flavors, you won’t be disappointed. We have many times before in other recipes, but usually receive comments back from reluctant followers saying they just couldn’t see how it would work out and chose to either substitute Once Again Cashew Butter, almond butter, or just skip it altogether—How sad! But we are here to give you one more reason to try this! Leave your fears at the door, and dive into this powerful combo, and we promise you will not regret it.

Our pumpkin croissants can be whipped up in a matter of minutes using store-bought croissant dough. You may choose to make your own of course, but when shortcuts exist that do not sacrifice nutrient value or taste, we encourage their use in our kitchen. After all, many people give up, after gazing over hundreds of recipes, and move on, due to a long ingredient list with complicated directions.

But a lack of time should not limit your making these mouth-watering autumn treats!

And please remember, we enjoy new tips, tricks and recipes as well, so if you have a good one for creative croissant dough to share, please do so in the comments’ section below.

You will bake these croissants according to directions using the store-bought dough, or you can substitute your homemade, from scratch recipe, and proceed to bake these according to that one.

Now, when purchasing refrigerated dough, we recommend looking for ones with the shortest list of ingredients and minimally added preservatives. Here at Once Again, we take a serious vow: Most of our jars of nut butters contain just one or two ingredients.

As a guide, always look for nut butter that has no wheat flour, water, and not too much sugar, salt, or oil!

Now let’s leap onward to the best part, the filling for these croissants. Pumpkin puree is just plain pumpkin; it contains some natural sugar but not enough to make it sweet. Pumpkin is rich in water and has no fat. Peanut butter complements pumpkin by adding natural sweetness from the peanuts and healthy fat. A small amount of maple syrup will sweeten the batch when enhanced by pumpkin spice. The four ingredients come together perfectly to make up the filling for these croissants. Then, as you can watch in our short video, it’s just a matter of rolling up the crescents and baking! The aroma from your oven as they bake will be irresistible.

Let us know your favorite way to enjoy them in the comments below, perhaps with coffee or tea?

Pumpkin Filled Croissants

Pumpkin Filled Croissants

Filling:

¼ cup of pumpkin puree

3 tablespoons of Once Again Peanut Butter

2 tablespoons of maple syrup

1 teaspoon of pumpkin spice

Dough: Use your preferred refrigerated croissant dough or make your own!

In a medium bowl, add pumpkin puree, peanut butter, maple syrup, and pumpkin spice. Mix well, and then add about one tablespoon to open triangle shaped croissant dough, and then roll into a crescent shape. Place each crescent in a baking pan with edges down to ensure proper baking. Store in airtight container for up to 3 days. Best enjoyed fresh out of the oven! Makes about 8 croissants.

No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites

Recent food news tells us that this year’s pumpkin craze is at a lower rate compared to last few culinary cycles. Currently, industry is churning out a few thousand different products with fall-time limited production of myriad pumpkin-flavored yummies. From the most commonly accepted ones, including pumpkin-spiced coffees and cookies to the most bizarre examples, as well, to say that they abound is quite the understatement! A quick search on Google yielded some strange examples of wannabe delights: pumpkin-spiced pizza, pumpkin potato chips, and pumpkin pasta sauce.

However, pumpkin has competition in the fall flavor line-up this year! It seems maple syrup could be the next food to make a come-back. Maple syrup is nothing new: We have enjoyed it for years as part of our breakfast foods, and as a powerful sweetener in baking recipes. It has countless uses.

Of course, pumpkin and maple syrup team up well in innumerable recipes!

So, it seems like a good time to review the nutritional lore of maple syrup and why it is an ingredient worth exploring, not only for its uniquely sweet taste but also, because of its vast nutritional implications.

Just as a side note though, we aren’t dampening our enthusiasm for pumpkin. So, don’t get that impression. Pumpkin still has a lot to give, and we are willing to continue to explore the versatility of this nutrient-rich vegetable, here and beyond.

But today we are really talking about a pumpkin-maple syrup synergy. Maple syrup is a fantastic sweetener and can often be used instead of refined white sugar. Unlike sugar, maple syrup has a significant number of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can contribute to meeting daily nutrient requirements. Pure maple syrup has on average in 4 tablespoons serving size, more than 100% of our daily intake of manganese, 37% of riboflavin, 18% of zinc, 7% of magnesium, 5% of calcium, and 5% of potassium.

Pure maple syrup is a single, natural product produced by the concentration of sap from the maple tree. It is a natural sweetener that contains no added sugar, coloring agents, artificial flavorings, preservatives or other additives. Its simplicity allows us to include it in our recipes without fear of artificial additives that you normally encounter in corn- based syrups, for example.

Therefore, when a little sweetness is called for, choosing how you achieve the perfect taste makes all the difference. When developing our recipes, we will often use honey, another powerful sweetener with a long list of benefits (See this blog post), but at times, the better recipe match is maple syrup. These No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites combine ease of preparation with all the flavors of sumptuous autumn. The unique flavor of pecans in the crust blend and enhance the tones of pumpkin and maple in the cheesecake, delivering a clean and guilt-free dessert to enjoy anytime!

No-bake Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites

No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites

Crust

1 cup of pecan meal

1 cup of dates

Cheesecake

½ cup of Once Again Creamy Cashew Butter

4 of ounces of cream cheese (or cream cheese substitute if vegan)

½ cup of maple syrup

2 tablespoons of pumpkin spice

1 cup of pumpkin puree

Start by adding dates to a bowl with warm water for 5-15 minutes to soften. Then add them to food processor, and pulse until dates form a dough-like ball. Add in pecan meal, and pulse again. For the filling, in separate bowl, start with Once Again Cashew Butter; add in cream cheese, maple syrup, and pumpkin spice, and mix well. It is much easier to mix if the cream cheese is at room temperature.  To prepare the cheesecake bites, use one tablespoon of crust and press to form in a muffin pan. Then add filling up to the top of each muffin crust. Place the pan in the  freezer for 1 hour and then move it to the refrigerator for 30 minutes prior to serving. Store extras in freezer for up to 30 days.

Masala Nuts and Seeds Bites

Our melting pot of cultures that makes up our diverse country allows us to bring an array of exotic foods and spices from lands far away right into our kitchens. In India, millions have enjoyed masala chai for many generations. Masala chai has made its way into our coffee and tea shops and is commonly sold in grocery stores to make at home. It is a spiced, sweetened black tea mixed with milk, by the classical Indian definition. It is sold in India by chai wallahs, or tea vendors, who pour this aromatic tea from big iron kettles into small cups. Americans have incorrectly shortened to just “chai”, which is not necessarily correct since the word chai alone simply means “milk tea.”  “Masala” refers to the unique combination of spices that our taste buds adore. Masala spices often include cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, pepper, fennel, and star anise.

Masala can also be a fantastic match for nuts and seeds. The combination of this earthy aromatic spice blend highlights the nutty taste of almonds, peanuts, cashews and other nuts and seeds, perfectly. Since we like to focus on cooking with a purpose around here, let’s not forget to mention how this blend of spices delivers many health benefits. Cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves each have unique nutritive value and have each been studied and linked to various ways they can impact our health. A common theme is their ability to help our body fight off inflammation. Another is their ability to help our metabolism stabilize blood sugar levels.

The recipe below combines masala spices, honey, seeds, raw nuts and our Once Again Almond Butter into a bite sized portions that you can enjoy just about any time of the day. They are hearty enough to be a part of your breakfast and help you stay satiated until your next meal.  They can also be deliciously paired with a cup of hot tea for an afternoon snack —or perhaps they can work too for you as a  post- workout snack to replenish lost energy stores and kick start muscle healing, helping you avoid excessive inflammation. Regardless of when you choose to eat them, they are phenomenal, and you might just find yourself making them week after week. Feel free to share this recipe with friends and adapt it to include your favorite nuts, seeds, or dried fruits!

Masala Nuts and Seeds Bites

Masala Nuts and Seeds Cups

½ cup of raw cashews

½ cup of roasted sunflower seeds

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

½ teaspoon of powdered ginger

¼ teaspoon of ground cardamom

½ cup of shredded unsweetened coconut

¼ cup of currants

2 tablespoons of Once Again Creamy Almond Butter

2 tablespoons of honey

¼ cup applesauce

1 tablespoon of ground flaxseeds

Add all ingredients to a food processor, except for the currants. Once well mixed (do not over process), add in the currants and mix again. Then distribute the mixture evenly among 12 mini-muffin cups and refrigerate to set. You may place the bites in the freezer for 20 minutes for quicker results. Keep these delights in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.